My girlfriend (at the time) and I promised to not exchange presents on our 3-year anniversary on June 29. I ended up breaking that vow because I proposed to her. She didn't seem to mind that I ended up getting her that gift, but after I did so, she wanted to find a present for me.
"I got us tickets to Cowabunga Bay!" she said, when we were discussing what we would do in Las Vegas beyond gambling and drinking.
Cowabunga Bay, as it turns out, is this huge water park in Las Vegas. And I couldn't be happier. I love water slides almost as much as I love cheesesteaks, tacos and cheeseburgers. In fact, water slides would be higher on the list if climbing all of those damn stairs wasn't required. I swear, it gets harder and harder each time for me (that's what she said?). Maybe it's because I get older and fatter each time, but I find myself being more and more out of breath after each subsequent visit to water parks. In fact, I'm thinking about sending out a letter to the National Organization of Water Parks in America (NOWPA), asking them to construct escalators for fat men like myself.
Now, I'm not even sure if NOWPA is a real organization, but if they are, I'm sure they'll have some spiel about how I'm not healthy enough to enjoy their rides. The kicker is that once they do that, they'll be falling right into my trap because I'll just play the liberal bulls*** guilt trip/name-calling, citing them as intolerant of my obesity. Us fat men have rights, too! In fact, there should be bathrooms just for us fat guys!
Fortunately, I'm not at the stage where it's physically impossible for me to ride water slides, so my fiancee and I got our stuff ready and called for a cab to take us to Cowabunga Bay. This, however, proved to be a difficult process.
Our taxi driver was an elderly man who looked like he was nearing 80. He was doing that old man thing where he was chewing even though he had nothing in his mouth. I instantly knew that we were going to have problems reaching our destination.
Old Cab Driver: Where you guys going?
Fiancee: Cowabunga Bay!
Old Cab Driver: Weh? Never heard of that.
Fiancee: It's a water park.
Old Cab Driver: Weh?
Fiancee: Here, I can use GPS to find it.
My fiancee whipped out her phone and quickly used Google Maps to find directions for Cowabunga Bay. She read him the address, prompting him to flip out this torn-up address book that looked like it was printed in the 1940s.
Fiancee: Here, take my phone. You can use the GPS.
Old Cab Driver: What's GPS?
Fiancee: Directions to Cowabunga Bay.
Old Cab Driver: I don't know how to use this.
Fiancee: You can just listen to it and it'll tell you where to go.
Old Cab Driver: No, get it away from me.
He basically chucked the phone back at her, almost as if he feared that her phone would suck his soul out of his body. He reached for his archaic address book once more when my fiancee offered to read the directions to him. He agreed to this.
We then finally proceeded toward Cowabunga Bay, with the cab driver continuing to chew on nothing the entire ride. I hope that wad of nothing tasted good.
My fiancee and I went on every ride at Cowabunga Bay. There was even a tower of tube rides with four different slides, and we rode them all. And thank goodness for that, since this is where I collected most of my Jerks of the Week material for the third part of this quadrilogy.
The four slides had different colors: green, pink, yellow and blue, and we went on them in that order. What the patrons of Cowabunga Bay would have to do was wait in line for other riders to finish with their tubes and be handed corresponding colors. This seemed to take a while at first, until I figured out that most of the people waiting in line wanted double tubes, and we could just ask the lifeguard for the singles resting against the wall.
We did end up waiting for the green and pink slides, though. Nothing happened in the green line until I reached the top. Some semi-attractive Hawaiian chick took my green tube from me and told me to get on the scale. She wanted to see if I weighed more than 280 pounds, and if so, I wouldn't be able to go down the slide.
Look, I call myself fat, but I'm not 280-pound fat. I didn't take it as an insult though, since I am a blubbery fellow. My issue with her, however, is that she was weighing everyone, including normal-looking skinny dudes who weren't even close to 200 pounds. I get that it's policy and whatnot, but it still seems ridiculous to make everyone wait while making sure obvious people are below the required weight limit.
The green slide actually turned out to be the worst one. The pink one, which was next, was the best because the slide took riders into two giant checkered ovals where we would soar up the walls. I thought I was going to fall out and break my neck on several occasions. It was awesome!
While waiting in the pink line, I overheard an exchange an 8-year-old kid had with his dad in the blue line, which happened to be the longest. The kid wouldn't shut up about the ride colors.
Kid: THIS RIDE IS BLUE AND THE TUBES ARE BLUE, DAD!!!
Dad: I know.
Kid: I CAN'T WAIT TO GO DOWN THE BLUE SLIDE AND THEN THE GREEN ONE AND THEN THE YELLOW ONE BUT NOT THE PINK ONE BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE PINK!!!
Kid: BLUE IS THE BEST, RIGHT DAD?!?!??!?!
Dad: I guess we'll see.
Kid: WE'RE GOING DOWN THE BLUE ONE BECAUSE MY LIFEJACKET IS BLUE!!!
Dad: Your lifejacket is red.
I had difficulty containing my laughter. This dumb kid didn't even know what color his lifejacket was. And it's not like he was color-blind or anything, since he was able to identify the other slide colors. How he determined that his lifejacket was blue is something I'll never understand.
At any rate, going through the line went quite quickly with the pink tube because the aforementioned Hawaiian chick called, "Any pink riders? Come up." I shoved people out of the way to the top of the stairs, hearing remarks from salty, ugly moms like, "Well, aren't you lucky?" Once I reached the top, the Hawaiian chick weighed me again. As if I somehow gained tons of weight in five minutes.
We were perplexed about why the pink line was so quick, but we would soon discover what the holdup was once we were armed with yellow tubes. The girl who was monitoring the yellow and blue slides was this fat Asian girl who felt as if she needed to give a speech about the slides. It began with the normal stuff you'd expect to hear...
"Please ride inside the tube in an upright position and cross your legs for extreme safety. Please do not exit the tube or turn around. If you get stuck, please call for assistance, and we will come help you. Please do not go until the light goes green. Hold on to the handlebars in the meantime. Upon exiting, please hand your tube to the lifeguard in the pool below..."
And then she went on unnecessary tangents...
"The yellow slide is my favorite slide in this entire park. This is followed by the pink slide, then the blue slide, and then the green slide. I'll never forget the first time I rode the yellow slide. I almost fell off in the circular pool below! You guys will see it! It's a blast, and it's like you're stuck in a whirlpool (she was right). If you get stuck in the whirlpool, just nudge yourself until you go down the hole. Believe me, I thought I was going to get stuck there a couple of times, but you can just nudge yourselves through! When you're done these tube rights, can I recommend taking a ride in the lazy river? It's quite refreshing, and..."
I don't know what else she said because I tuned her out. It was ridiculous; it's almost as if she thought she was some tour guide. All she was doing, however, was holding everyone up and making the customers frustrated. This includes me, as I propelled myself down the slide as she was in the middle of her stupid speech. The next time she saw me, when I was carrying the blue tube, she was pissed. She didn't even say anything to me!
As a result, the blue ride was enjoyable for that reason. I mean, I still got weighed for the fourth time by the OCD Hawaiian chick, but at least I didn't have to sustain a brain aneurysm from listening to our fat Asian water slide tour guide again.
The one thing I didn't like about Cowabunga Bay was the amount of children in the park. I get that theme parks like this are meant for kids, but this happened to be in Las Vegas, where you have to be 21 to do anything remotely fun. I've said this before, but if it were up to me, I would decrease the gambling age to 18 and then ban all children under the age of 18 from the entire city.
The kids at Cowabunga Bay were especially annoying. It began when they made our wait at a mat slide long. Lots of children were in line for this despite the weight floor being 100 pounds. It said so on the sign, yet these a**holes lined up anyway. Where was the OCD Hawaiian chick when I actually needed her!?
This was especially infuriating because the kids couldn't actually finish the ride. They weren't heavy enough, so they didn't gain the momentum needed to slide up the final hill. They'd get stuck and squirm around until they fell back down, and they'd have to exit at the halfway point. I will admit that I got a kick out of these little s**ts get stuck. They looked like dying bugs that were just sprayed with Windex. If you've never been sadistic enough to do this, the bugs spazz out and then eventually fall to the ground. I hate kids who ruin my fun times, so this was very enjoyable.
The camel that broke the straw's back - thanks, Emmitt Smith - was when I overheard the following scuttlebutt:
"They turned off the waves in the wave pool because it was knocking too many kids down."
Are you f***ing kidding me? Waves are supposed to knock people down. They're f***ing waves!
Anyway, the final ride we went on that afternoon was this thing where you'd go into a rocket, and it would open the floor underneath you, prompting you to plummet down to what you believe might be your demise. It was fun, and we decided that we wanted to do it twice.
The second time we went up, some chubby 10-year-old kid chickened out, abandoning his friends.
"Guys... guys... my stomach hurts... I can't go on... I need my medication..."
He then scurried down the stairs. I was almost tempted to write, "the giant pu**y scurried down the stairs," but in all fairness, I don't think I would've been brave enough to go on the rocket ride at his age either. In fact, when I was a bit younger than him, I went into this haunted house on the boardwalk of some beach town. The first thing I saw was a face on a wall, and a voice bellowed, "You'll never escape from here alive!"
I nearly s*** myself. I turned around and sprinted back toward mommy. My mom consoled me, but I recall my dad being pissed that he had just wasted money. Still, he didn't call me a "giant pu**y" - though he probably should have to toughen me up - so I'll spare this kid. Maybe he won't be a giant pu**y one day, but at 10, you're allowed to be one.
At any rate, we called the cab company to pick us up, and they informed us that they'd arrive anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour. Being super hot, I downed two Icees and an orange soda while waiting. Meanwhile, my fiancee, who initially wanted to wait outside, changed her mind two minutes later, as she thought there might be something worth purchasing in their gift shop. We tried to reenter the park, but the tall black guy who saw us exit two minutes ago stopped us.
"I'm gonna have to check y'all bags, round hmy'all, but first I'ma have to check the bags of these gents," he said.
My fiancee's face boiled bright red. I thought she was going to strangle him.
"He saw us leave two minutes ago!" she snapped, yelling in my direction. "What did I do in these two minutes, sneak a bomb into my bag!?"
After finding nothing in the gift shop and re-exiting the park, we continued to wait. The cab driver still hadn't arrived by the time I was finished all of my beverages. My fiancee, growing extremely impatient, was about to call another taxi company when someone called her. It was the cab driver.
"I don't know where I'm going," I heard him say.
Of course he didn't. The water park probably wasn't even listed in his 1940s address book.